From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Edo state High court, sitting in Benin yesterday, rejected the suspended Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers’ exparte application seeking to quash the restraining order passed on them.
The presiding Judge (Mrs.) Vestee Eboreime handed down the ruling yesterday, in response to the application filed by the quartet, Hon. Festus Ebea (deputy speaker), Patrick Osayimen, Jude Ise-Idehen and Friday Ogieriakhi.
The ruling followed an earlier ruling delivered on June 10, restraining the members from gaining entrance into the House premises and the legislators’ quarters.
Justice Eboreime, yesterday, also foreclosed the jurisdiction to entertain the notice of appeal motion, clarifying that entertaining applications would amount to turning the law on its head hence the case was already before an appeal court.
The court adjourned sine die until the Court of Appeal ruled on the appeal.
Counsel to the suspended lawmakers, Ferdinand Orbih had prayed the court for continuous proceeding and an order setting aside the interim injunction and stay of execution preferred against the affected legislators.
Counsel to the defendants, Ken Mozia urged the court to reject the applications since the defendants have appealed against the interim injunction.
Mozia told reporters in an interview that “Activities will now shift to the appellate court. What happens depends on the processes filed at the court of appeal.”
“This court can no longer entertain any matter for setting aside or stay of proceeding. This court has agreed it has no jurisdiction to hear them, until the Court of Appeal decides the matter, the matters remained as they are which means the interim order remain.
“The lawmakers are attempting to attend sitting and we are also attempting to have them committed for violating court orders.”
Meanwhile, there was tension at the assembly complex, King square in Benin City, yesterday, just as the feuding parties declined to enter the assembly for legislative business.
The 8 PDP members along with the suspended deputy speaker, Festus Ebea All Progressives congress (APC) members
Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Hon. Uyigue Igbe told reporters that sitting was adjourned till today (Tuesday).
He cited the presence of the four suspended PDP lawmakers as the reason why the house could not sit, adding that as law abiding Citizens, APC members will not attend sitting with Lawmakers who have penchant to disobey court order.
Similarly, the Police have stepped up investigations into the attack on three PDP lawmakers of the house at Abudu, the administrative council headquarters of Orhionmwon Local Government area of the state on Sunday morning.
Festus Ebea, Emmanuel Okoduwa, and Patrick Iluobe were attacked by the suspected hoodlums where they had attended the investiture Ceremony by the Anglican Church of the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Anthony Anenih.
Spokesman of the state Police Command, Noble Uwoh while confirming that the incident was a case of armed robbery attack also confirmed the killing of one of the robbers and the injuring of one of the drivers in the House members’ convoy, while 44 rounds of AK-47 lives ammunition were recovered from the suspected dead arm robber.